Welcome Home! Annual Meeting Recap 

May 5, 2014

Two keynote speakers highlighted the recent Annual Meeting at University Congregational Church. Three hearings, important reports, 20 workshops and the usual business of budgets, wonderful music and worship services equals one amazing meeting! We heard from Minneapolis based professor Christena Cleveland, expert on racial relations, the Rev. Lillian Daniels, minister of Glen Ellen, Illinois UCC church, outstanding preacher and writer.

Consider the following from Christena. A resume with a few spelling and grammatical errors (otherwise good content) is circulated to senior partners of a large law firm to evaluate. Half the group has the picture of a white candidate attached, the other half a minority candidate. The white candidate earns a score of 4.6 (on a scale of 1-5 with 5 high) with mostly positive comments, while the minority candidate earns a score of 3.7 and is lambasted for spelling and grammar errors. This is 2014 and we have come how far? Brilliant, outstanding speaker, funny and laser focused points—it was truly a wonderful experience.

Lillian Daniels’ keynote was brilliant, funny and focused with key points on how we run churches today. Her latest book Spiritual but not Religious is not enough: Seeing God in Surprising Places, Even the Church. One of her points was the difficulty she has in getting her congregation to discuss their faith and how to help folks to do that. She also preached at the Sunday service.

Budget hearings were held and Edie Lackland, Stewardship Chair, was honored for her outstanding work during her six-year term. Two new resolutions, Living Wage presented by Jenn Hagedorn and increased gun responsibility, and budget were passed. A by-law change on two year terms for moderators, returned for language clarification.

Other Plymouth participants included Rev. Brigitta Remole and Brandon, Kyna Shilling, as one of the ‘Geeks for Jesus’ who handled social media, Don Bell who helped with a workshop, Kevin Bechtold, Jim Spraker (Global Ministries Committee), Medora Moburg (Committee on Ministry), Debbie Baden (Ministerial Resources Co-Chair), Jim Halfaker (former Conference Minister), Don and Lynnea Mayer, Terry Teigen, Mike Denton (Conference Minister) and Wendy Blight (Conference Treasurer).

In addition to the important resolutions (which require follow-up work by churches before next year’s meeting) the new budget includes an additional staffer to focus on youth and young adults, outdoor ministries and justice issues in addition to assisting Mike Denton with overall issues. We expect this new staffer to come on board later this summer and have high hopes for their positive impact on Conference activities.

Topics: Church Life, Events



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